Archive for June, 2021

Imposter Syndrome

Posted: June 30, 2021 in Uncategorized

Have you heard of imposter syndrome? If you are a creative, and especially a Christian creative, you’ve probably experienced it, even if you’ve never heard of it. Imposter syndrome is basically a little voice in your head that asks the question, “Who are you to (do whatever it is that you’re doing)?” Today, I want to tell you, in most cases, imposter syndrome is a crock. Now of course there are exceptions. If I found myself at 57 years old with a weight that is disproportional to my height, on an NBA team, imposter syndrome would be a very real concern, but when it comes to my calling and the work that the Lord has called me to do, imposter syndrome is worse than a crock, it’s diabolical. That condemning voice that questions your worth to the kingdom is not of God.

I think it comes from comparison. “Who are you…?” often comes when you look at someone’s work who is “better than you.” They have more experience, better skills and the list goes on, but the result is the same, you look at your work, you look at theirs and you think, “Who am I and why do I keep trying? I’ll never be that good.” STOP IT!

God has not called you to be a better artist than person X. God has not called you to be better than anyone. God has called (an created) you to be you and then to work to be the best “you” you can be. Yes, you should be improving. Yes, you should be faithfully putting in the effort to develop your gift, but you are only an imposter if you are trying to be someone else. STOP THAT, TOO!

What you and I need to do, is to do what we are called to do and run our own race. We need to be faithful to our callings and make the world we are called to make. Then we need to be equally faithful at putting it out for the world to see. You are not an imposter. You are a one of a kind original creation, made by the Creator of all things. Be that creation and bring your best to the world each day. Do that consistently and you will become all that God has for you to be. You’re not an imposter, unless you’re trying to be someone else. Who are you to do what you are doing. You are a child of the God who called you out of darkness and into His wonderful light.

Go and be all that you were created to be.


Posted: June 29, 2021 in Uncategorized

I woke up this morning wondering what I should write about today. I started to think about determination. I’ve never really studied etymology (The study of the origin of words and the way in which their meanings have changed throughout history) at least since high school a very long time ago and so my etymology may be way off, so we’ll just call this Dave’s fractured etymology. But let’s break it down simply. Termination is the ending of something and the prefix “de” means the opposite of whatever follows. Determination, then is the refusal to quit, at least to my mind. Sometimes I think I need a little more determination. How about you?

The theme verse and memory verse for this past week at Haven Camp was Philippians 3:13b-14. “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” In preparation for this series of messages, I really got to dwell on what Paul was saying here. I think of the Apostle Paul, who was writing this from the confines of a Roman prison. At this point in his life, he was pretty much prevented from doing all that he was called to do. He couldn’t very well go out and plant churches or spread the Gospel, at least beyond the walls of his confinement. A lesser man would have given up. I fear I would have given up, but Paul was not a lesser man. I’m sure he looked at all the things his circumstances at the time prevented him from doing, but determination had to bring a new thought to mind. “What can I do?”

We need to do the same thing. When circumstances keep us from doing what we want to do and especially what we are called to do, we can lament those circumstances or we can use our determination to ask a follow up question, “What can I do where I am right now?” In Paul’s vernacular, “If my freedom is currently in the past, what can I strain toward to keep moving forward to my future?” For Paul it was writing letters. I’m sure writing those letters to the churches he founded had to feel very anticlimactic—like they nailed in comparison to planting those churches, yet Paul followed the leading of the Spirit and wrote them anyway. That’s determination, and I’d ask you to remember that those letters, letters that again had to feel anticlimactic have been encouraging the church of Jesus Christ for 2000 years.

Being impeded from doing what Paul was called to do in the moment, he still pressed on (determination) to the goal to win the prize. I’d ask you to remember, that prize cannot be Heaven. Heaven is something Jesus gives freely, it does not have to be earned or won. What then is the prize? It’s reaching the goal God has set before you. It’s hearing the Lord say, “Well done.” I get the idea that we will not always see the importance of what we are doing when we are doing it. We need to do it anyway, trusting that if God calls us to it, He will make it important as only He can define it. That’s determination. Circumstances are going to be unfavorable at times. We can lament them or we can look to what we can do today.

Determine to press on with determination. The Lord has got this!

Feast or Famine 1

Posted: June 28, 2021 in Uncategorized

when out of the river come seven skinny, gaunt cows come out of the river and eat the seven cows. The dream is symbolic of seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. Being able to interpret that dream changed the trajectory of Joseph’s life, taking him from prisoner to the second most powerful person in the most powerful nation on earth at the time, in an instant. I have taken to trying to illustrate some of the images from this story. and this is my first attempt of three. This will be a presentation slide for sure, and may end up being used in some other applications. 

In this week’s message we look at Jesus attending a very uncomfortable “dinner party.” Right in the midst of the “festivities,” an uninvited woman comes on the premises and makes a “scene.” That scene is still held up today as an example of faith and faithfulness. Check out this exploration of Luke 7:36-50.

Haven Camp Paintings

Posted: June 26, 2021 in Uncategorized

I’ve been away leading a camp for adults with developmental difficulties. They love the speed paintings. It’s awesome to hear them guess what I am painting. We had a great week. Remember my paintings are done very quickly but they lead into the message and they worked very well.

Feast of Famine 2

Posted: June 25, 2021 in Uncategorized

I was working through the dreams of Pharaoh in the Biblical story of Joseph. In this one seven healthy heads of wheat were devoured by seven unhealthy heads of wheat. It was a premonition from God about a coming famine that God used to save not just the people of Egypt but the fledgling nation of Israel. Joseph ended up in Egypt because his jealous brothers sold him into slavery, but God used him to save their family. What man meant for evil, God used for good. 

Death to My Poison “Pen”

Posted: June 24, 2021 in Uncategorized

One of the things that I get convicted of in the midst of a joyful ministry experience is I need to walk in joy. I look at the condition of our world and I get very concerned and to an extent, rightfully so, but the question is what will I do with that concern? It can be really easy for me to get out the poison pen and act as if sarcasm is a spiritual gift. It isn’t. God is good, Jesus is faithful and the joy of the Lord is my strength. The battle is the Lord’s and it doesn’t depend on me. I need to do away with my poison pen, preach truth and spread joy. The problems of the world do not reflect a problem with God. My God is strong and faithful and the solution to all the problems. Adding fuel to the fire does no good. Sarcasm is not a spiritual gift. My gifts and talents in the hands of God are the tools He has given me to make change. My poison pen has got to die and I positively need to stay positive.

How about you?

Pure Joy

Posted: June 23, 2021 in Uncategorized

I am filling in a few posts this week that were missed last week while I was working at something that is pure joy for me. I served as the teacher for a week of Haven Camp, a camp for adults with developmental disabilities held several times a year at Delta Lake Bible Conference. I did my usual preaching, teaching and speed painting with this amazing group of people. It is beyond a doubt the most interactive thing I do all year. These people are a blast to work with. They are totally uninhibited, with no fear of being wrong. They answer questions, ask questions, and sometimes share some pretty deep things. I love working with these people. I might as well admit it. I just plain love these people. Their hearts are open and honest, and they truly are pure joy.

I love the fact that they keep me honest. They have no problem at all with slamming the brakes if I say something they don’t understand. They shout out their guesses on what I am painting, and they love on each other like virtually no other group of people I have experienced. They are vulnerable and at times even raw, but their love for each other and for Jesus is palpable. I love this camp.

But there’s more. I will confess that there are times where I get a little depressed these days. It feels like the whole world is going in the same direction at times, and I fear for the next generation. Then I go to Haven Camp. My “co-workers” for the week are the counselors. Most of these people are very young—high school and college students. These young people have no idea how much they bless me. They restore my faith in humanity. They work with these folks and guide and bless them and more than once this past week my eyes welled up with tears as I witnessed their grace, compassion and love for the campers. One example of this was with one of the new campers. His name was Paul. Paul is blind, and the smile never left his face once the whole week. One of the games the campers play is called grid soccer. It is a game where the gym floor is gridded off with cones and the object of the game is to stay within your square, and kick the ball as it comes to you. You might think a game like this would be reserved for sighted campers, but no, Paul’s counselor, led Paul to his box in the grid, and then stood there just to the front of Paul. Every time the ball came toward Paul, his counselor would stop the ball and position the ball where Paul could kick. Every time he made a kick, every single time, all the campers and staff erupted with applause and Paul’s smile got eve bigger. I am convinced that these young counselors are some of the best people God has made and they touched my heart time and time again.

The staff at Delta Lake are phenomenal. Their leadership is visionary and this camp is a vitally important ministry. I love this ministry and I would highly recommend it to anyone who loves someone with a disability. If you happen to be in leadership with a camp, you really need to make contact with Delta Lake. Ministering at Delta Lake over the last six years or so has been life changing for me. Contact me if you’d like more information.

The Combination

Posted: June 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

Author of Limitless: God’s Creative Mandate for His Church, Charity Bowman Webb, (Speaking to the creation of the tabernacle and the subsequent tabernacle) looked at the pattern for some of these Biblical creative projects and isolated what she calls the “Creative Combination.” These steps are, “Blueprints Ideas from Heaven) + Wisdom + Creativity + Spirit + Existing skill/ability + More skill/ability added by God, joined with Character, Obedience and Perseverance.” 

I believe this really is the basis for all Christian creativity. We begin with a God inspired idea. This is crucial and it is why prayer is an essential element in Christian creativity. Bezalel was filled with the Spirit and given all kinds of “creative skills,” but he didn’t just go off and do whatever He wanted. He followed the Lord’s leading. Of course wisdom and creativity figure into every project as well. While God’s plans in these biblical projects are fairly exacting, there is still room for God inspired creativity. Bezalel had to determine how to do what Gos was calling him to do. This is a key component for all Christian creatives. Some artists act as if boundaries are crushing to creativity, but I maintain that boundaries are a huge benefit to creativity, especially within the church. We will go into this in greater detail later, but for now, imagine the chances for “getting it wrong” that come with having no idea of the parameters of the project. Creativity and wisdom will help with this of course, but having a blueprint to follow, especially if that “blueprint” comes from God is huge.

After creativity comes Spirit, but of course some of this is commutative. Like a mathematical addition problem the order of the factors have some flexibility. As part of the God-head, when the Father is involved so is the Spirit, and the Spirit’s involvement in Christian creativity is of the utmost importance. Next comes existing ability. It goes without saying that all good gifts come from God and this includes our gifts, talents and abilities. If you have a talent, it was given to you by God. I once heard a saying attributed to Michael Jackson. I’m not sure he actually said it, and I realize he may not be the world’s greatest source for wise theology, but still the statement is valid. Jackson allegedly said, “My talent is God’s gift to me, how I use it and the development of it are my gift to Him.” No matter who said it, there is tremendous wisdom in that statement. When we come to God, especially in matters of creativity, it is urgent that we bring our whole self and all of our abilities to the table. 

Bowman Webb’s creative combination then adds “more skill/ability added by God.” I have seen this manifested in my own work. When I was trying to be a professional artist, I had a certain level ability. When I offered my gift back to the Lord to be used to His purpose and His glory, my skills improved dramatically. I often say now that I am no longer striving to be a “famous artist” I am doing the best work of my life. Finally Bowman Webb joins all of the above to “Character, Obedience and Perseverance.” The importance of all of these cannot be overstated. Character in ministry is one of the most important things there is. Without obedience we will go astray, and the long road these creative pursuits can be at times demands perseverance.   

Haven Camp

Posted: June 21, 2021 in Uncategorized

This week my wife Dawn and I are in Rome, New York participating in one of my favorite ministries, Haven Camp. It is a camp for adults with developmental disabilities, that is held at Delta Lake Bible Conference. It’s an amazing ministry. Last year, there was no Haven Camp due to COVID and so it’s been almost two years and I am pretty excited to get back. Ministering to the Haven Campers is always special. It is such a joy to watch these wonderful people to learn and work together. The joy the have and love they have for each other is palpable. The staff of this camp are some of the most remarkable people and I have made many lifelong friends there. For me as the speaker, the week is a whirlwind of activity, but I always come away having received a blessing. My plan for the week is to post some of the art I make there and an overview of some of the sessions. I would request your prayers for my ministry there and especially for the campers.